Excerpt from The Washington Post | Read the full article here.
Mara Verheyden-Hilliard said that if the police offensive was, as it appeared, an effort to clear a path for Trump, “presidential security does not give a pretext for wholesale brutal assault on demonstrators and journalists.”
“Just because they want to get him across the park does not mean they can attack people and use chemical weapons and assault them,” she said. “Protecting the president is not a license for excessive force.”
Verheyden-Hilliard signed the 2015 federal settlement with Park Police on behalf of protesters, which requires the agency to provide a “reasonable exit avenue” to those in the crowd and to position an officer at the rear who can certify that warnings to leave can be heard.
“It’s clear Park Police committed a mass violation of constitutional rights, as well as very specific procedures,” the agency agreed to in court, she said.
Officials familiar with Lafayette Square confrontation challenge Trump administration claim of what drove aggressive expulsion of protesters, The Washington Post, July 2, 2020